E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Google Talk – Is It Really Worth While All the Fuss ? Maybe not

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

And the hype goes up, up, up and higher up, folks ! If yesterday I was mentioning that there were plenty of weblog posts around the latest IM client available, Google Talk, going with 4,671 weblog posts, now the current list of weblog posts (7,224 posts) nearly doubles yesterday’s figures. Amazing !

However, the interesting part is when you try to figure out what is actually happening out there in the Blogosphere about the so called overhyped Google Talk. Allow me to explain. Like I have mentioned above there are about 7,224 posts around the topic of GTalk, so it looks like everybody seems to be quite happy with the latest offering from Google, however, about only 21 weblog posts do mention one of the main key items that I talked about yesterday that I was not really pleased with: the lack of security features.

Indeed, quite a few of those weblog posts shared lots of information about some of the great and neat features from GTalk. Yet, only a few did dare to mention that in this first release this application does not encrypt both the messaging and the voice chats. Thus you are out in the open and unprotected. WOW! That is just really incredible to believe that very few people in the Blogosphere has been talking about this, specially when you come to think about the huge amount of discussions and heated arguments that have been taken place for quite some time about using a secure and reliable web browser like FireFox or Opera as opposed to IE. Yet, hardly anybody seems to be worried about the fact that GTalk does not encrypt your chats and therefore it exposes you in the same way that other insecure browsers do. Isn’t that nice ?

So what is the deal ? Is it that everything that Google does is fully sanctioned by end-users, regardless of what it may be, and therefore gets used and talked about as if nothing happens, like it has taken place before with some of its other offerings ? That, indeed, seems to be the case, except for those other folks that just want more: a secured and encrypted real-time collaboration environment where they could talk with colleagues, friends and family as they could do using other alternatives. And by the looks of it we are going to have to wait for quite some time before that may change.

According to Robin Good “Google Talk does not yet support encryption of chats or calls in this early Beta version though it promises to fully support them in its final release”. If that is the case it sounds like it would be quite some time gone by before we can actually use GTalk in a secured environment, specially to collaborate closer with our colleagues while sharing potential sensitive information, even more when we get to see how long have some Google Betas been running for. Thus in the end GTalk would a very good and perfect option for some chitchat but I bet that for talking business related issues or other sensitive bits and pieces of information it would not be ready. Not now and potentially not in a little while. We will just have to wait and see how that turns out to be. And, hopefully, this time around it will not take such a long time as with other offerings.

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